Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Hurricane Frances: Tips for Mothers in a Storm

Hi there.

I've thought on this a bit and wondered what I could add to what has to be every piece of advice online. And, I've decided the following.

No one round here knows more about having children and going through a storm than me. Experience wise... I have a lot of kids. More than half a dozen okay? Went through Andrew with a housefull. So this is my advice to all you mothers.. single or married and that goes for single fathers who have custody of a house of kids who are the MOM of the house.

Buy Batteries.
Lots of batteries.
Tons of batteries.

I say this for many reasons. Gameboy. Sony walkman. Radios. Weather radios. Anything that will and might keep your child busy during the storm and even after the storm instead of wanting to go outside and look around amid debris.

Mind you talking here about losing power and having low end hurricane winds in your area because if you have a direct hit your batteries will be far away in some one else's yard.

Nothing makes a child of any age feel more secure than holding some hand held battery operated toy and staring obsessively at it. Nothing will make you happier or calmer than to have your kids occupied and busy so you can think clearer, not lose your patience or mental health. Buy batteries.

Also..if you have a small TV and you lose will be your link to the world (and the world of your neighbors who don't) so buy batteries.

Buy the small but good flashlights that come with their own batteries. Make sure they are not old from five years ago but that they work. Try one and keep the rest in a package. Your kids will feel safer and you will be happier knowing they have a small flashlight on them if the lights go out. A window could break and they will have taken off their sneakers even though you told them to keep their shoes on and get hurt. Or.........they will knock over there favorite breakable trinket in the dark looking for their flashlight. See above. Keep flashlights on them at all times. Around their neck isnt a bad idea.. but watch that they don't strangle on them. So much for a mother to worry on.

Note: you really dont want them walking around with candles do you? Buy flashlights, buy batteries.


Clothes: Tell the kids to keep their clothes on. Keep their shoes on. Get them to clean up the house with the excuse that the floor "might" flood and they will lose their belongings. This may be one of the best shots you have of getting them to clean their rooms.
Trust me in emergencies in the dark you want them to have their clothes on for all emergencies. Such as moving around the house, to higher ground or the neighbors house.


Snacks: Be sneaky. Keep them locked tight for a day or two in your best friends car trunk or hide them well. Buy portions if you can afford. Better to break up a drink pack in the middle of the night to give a kid an apple juice than to try and pour from a super size bottle in the dark with howling winds. Let them keep a drink and a flashlight on them. Pace yourself while screaming "THAT HAS TO LAST YOU THROUGH THE STORM" so explain this frequently to them. They have a limit..some are for after a storm. Do NOT buy tons of chocolate covered raisin snacks. Toilet use after the storm may need to be limited... choose you snacks wisely.


If you have chicken or ground meat in the freezer. Cook well this week. Let the kids and you feast a bit. Cook some food, freeze it and put it back in the freezer and freeze it. After the storm passes if you are w/o electric you can quickly open the freezer and take out a meatloaf or frozen cooked chicken and let it defrost. Note.. explain in advance to kids about not keeping the door open. Get it yourself the hassle and your voice and not scream "KEEP THE DOOR SHUT ....WHAT DID I TELL YOU... WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CANT FIND THE MEATLOAF" Better to go get it yourself. You can't get to the gym.. its closed. It's exercise. Rely less on kids for things like that.. let them play with their gameboys ;) (buy batteries)

Freeze bolgna, salami... only spend money on things kids will want. Do not think that because you had a storm they are going to eat smoked kippers of sardines even if they are Cajun style. Yes its handy. No you won't have it. Buy what they will eat.

If your house is not destroyed you can be stuck home with them for a few days and the stores might be closed or ... Donna like.. you could be stuck in the house for few days while a storm slowly slides by nearby enough for you to get harsh weather and lose your electric.

Buy instant coffee. Cold in bottled water you will be glad you have it if the electric goes out.
After Andrew... buy canned soda. Kids would prefer canned coke anytime and so will you.
Buy small drinks and freeze them.. they will stay cold for a while if the electric goes out and your fridge is still in your kitchen standing after the storm.

Buy water in gallons yes but buy some small ones that kids can drink in a storm... and its "theirs" Kids love possessing things. Gives them the semblance of "control"

Get all your medicine now. NOW. You don't want to be short of some asthma medicine or allergy medicine or anything you might give a child who has ADD... or even tagamet if you are prone to getting stomach aches when you are under pressure.

Recycle when the storm is over.

Don't alarm them. Let them help track the storm with you... allows them to feel less afraid and in control. Unless they understand weather too well in which case tell them "things can change a lot" over the next few days.. say this til you run out of days.


DIAPERS: DUH, Buy three times what you need.

TAMPONS: Ever notice how a teen age girl will never tell you she needs til she is out?

BABY WIPES: They are not just for babies. If the water is off..they are your friend ;)

I will continue tonight.

Got to go to work.

Yes I'm worried.

I love my house, my newly decorated bedroom, my really beautiful kitchen... just got done with a lot of updating round here. Love the kids and don't want to see their school projects blown to kingdom come. Want them all to be safe... hoping it turns off shore like I predicted earlier .. like the 1899 storm. But... my confidence is not real high.. have a bad feeling on this. Think we are all in denial here and don't want to deal with reality that it could stay w-wnw for a long time and the weakness can close and snap shut faster than the jaws of an alligator and someone in Florida gets a dead on Cat 4/5.

Buy batteries!
And... a hand operated can opener!

Love ya all... good luck.
Hope what I wrote helps.


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